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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.

Page 117

however undeveloped, I might frighten some good people needlessly. I think likely it was the recognition of this quality in the man, the entire absence of pedantry in his advocacy of the reform, that won the people over to him as much as anything. Some good stories are told about that, but perhaps one he told himself of his experience as a regimental commander in the Spanish war sheds more light on that side of him than anything else. He had a man in his regiment, a child of the frontier, in whom dwelt the soul of a soldier—in war, not in peace. By no process of reasoning or discipline could he be persuaded to obey the camp regulations, while the regiment lay at San Antonio, and at last he was court-martialed, sentenced to six months’ imprisonment—a technical sentence, for there was no jail to put him in. The prison was another Rough-Rider following him around with a rifle to keep him in bounds. Then came the call to Cuba, and the Colonel planned to leave him behind as useless baggage. When the man heard of it, his soul was stirred to its depths. He came and pleaded as a child to be taken along. He would always be good; never again could he show up in Kansas